Getting Started With CNOWv2

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Preparing for a new term can be a bit like piecing together a puzzle, especially when you add a new online learning platform to the mix. If you’re teaching with CNOWv2 for the first time, use these tips to confidently build your syllabus, set up your course and prepare your students.  


Build your syllabus with CNOWv2 in mind 

Here are some tips to help you design an effective syllabus for your CNOWv2 course. 


Require CNOWv2 for 20% of your students’ grade 

Students are less likely to use CNOWv2 and realize its benefits unless it’s a required part of their grade. We recommend assigning CNOWv2 for 20% of students’ overall grade to encourage them to complete their assignments regularly. 

Include purchase and enrollment instructions 

Make sure it’s simple and easy for students to enroll in your course and purchase CNOWv2 with these steps: 

  • Enrolling in CNOWv2: Once you’ve created your CNOWv2 course, you’ll see a link to Student Registration instructions on your course page. If you’re not integrating your course with a Learning Management System (LMS), you can copy, download or print these instructions for your students. The instructions include an enrollment link they’ll use to access your course. However, if your course is LMS-integrated, visit our Start Strong site and select CengageNOW. Then, follow the instructions based on your course type to receive personalized instructions for your class. Copy the link at the top of the page to include it in your syllabus. You could also use the Start Strong website to provide instructions for classes that aren’t LMS-integrated but will still need the enrollment link. 
  • Purchasing CNOWv2: Once a student has enrolled in your course, they will be prompted to create a Cengage account and purchase their materials directly from the platform. If students already purchased their materials from the campus bookstore or from another vendor, they can enter their access code. 

Define your class policies 

Want to change your class policies, but aren’t sure what CNOWv2 will support? Let’s dig into the common settings you can use in CNOWv2 and incorporate them in your class policies. 

  • Assignment Due Dates: We recommend giving students consistent due dates each week to keep them on track. Within CNOWv2, you can customize assignment due dates in bulk, or individually. 
  • Extensions: Within your gradebook, you can grant an extended due date to a student, or multiple students, for any duration of time. 
  • Extra Credit: In CNOWv2, you can mark any assignment as extra credit in the assignment settings. 
  • Past Due Assignments: Determine if your students will receive a penalty for submitting an assignment late and customize this in your assignment settings.  
  • Grading: In CNOWv2, you can: 
    • Drop specific assignments from the gradebook, such as the lowest scores or the lowest score in a specific category like homework. 
    • Excuse students from assignments. This will not impact their overall grade. 


Tip: When you set up your CNOWv2 course, include a link to your syllabus so students can easily access it. 


Top tips for setting up your course 

Don’t forget, you have a Cengage Digital Success Specialist available to help you set up your course if needed—just let your representative know that you need assistance. But if you want to give it a shot on your own, these tips will help you get started.  


Use a prebuilt template: When you create your course using a prebuilt template, it automatically populates all your course assignments for you. Then, you can add, remove or edit assignments from your course. 

Create a unique assignment template: Based on your class policies above, you’ll want to customize an assignment template to ensure all your assignments align with your policies. To do this, edit one of your assignments, change the settings to align with your policies and select Save as New Set. Then, you can use this assignment template for the entire class and edit it for specific assignments as needed. 

Bulk-reschedule assignments: If you followed the last tip, you’ll have a prebuilt course ready for you. However, you’ll still need to change the due dates to align with your course. On your Assignments home page, you can select your assignments in bulk by checking the boxes on the far left, then select Modify Dates. Then, you can set the same dates for all assignments, or change them individually by selecting Specify Dates for Each at the top.  

Determine who students should contact with questions: While setting up your course, choose who students should contact for questions while completing assignments. This is a great place to put your teacher’s assistant’s email. You can always change the email address later by selecting the Edit button next to the course, on your Courses page. 


Introduce students to CNOWv2 

Some students may be new to CNOWv2. Introduce them to the platform by incorporating the following into your syllabus: 

  • A brief description of CNOWv2: make sure students understand what CNOWv2 is and how it will benefit their education. For example: 
  • CNOWv2 prepares Accounting and Tax students for success in the classroom and in the real world with tools and feedback to help you succeed when working on your own. These include videos, study plans and question feedback, as well as access to powerful Business, Tax and Accounting tools you’ll use in the real world. 
  • A student introduction video: This video walks students through the key features in CNOWv2, with tips for making the most of the platform in your class. 

Trying a new online learning platform can be overwhelming, but the key is to be prepared! And know your Cengage Representatives and Digital Support Specialists are here to help you. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or need a hand getting started.  


Want to design a syllabus for your CNOWv2 course using our templated copy-and-paste language? Check out our Syllabus Resources page.